Category Archives: Self-Discovery

[Self Discovery] The Economics of Friendship

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“Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies-“God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”
– Kurt Vonnegut –

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Usually, when I delve into my ideas and reach into the cobwebbed corners of my brain for a post…I can knock it out in a day, maybe two; at the very most a week.  But this is something that’s been coming for at least two years; maybe even more.  Originally, I thought it was the festival induced nostalgia of the Springtime, or the evolution into the downtime of Fall and the family oriented nature of the Holiday Season; or, maybe it was shoving my life into a U-haul two times over, moving away from everything I’ve known and towards the person I want to be.  But, the more and more I separate myself from this feeling that’s  been in the pit of my stomach – the more I realize that no, it’s just me; it’s always been me.  Me being nostalgic and searching, me attempting to analyze the past and postulate a formulaic method of the future as I dissected the nature of love, empathy and friendship.

The human condition is one of connection; and at times it seems that we can’t help but to connect – to love, to find ourselves in another and to forge bonds outside of ourselves.  Coddled by ego and love, protected by loyalty and exponentially expounded upon by experience, our relationships are fragile beings, brought into this world each time our human vibrations intersect with one another’s. Eventually, even if we’ve branded ourselves as an independent being of light and love – those relationships become what define us and our realities, irregardless of how routine or random it might seem.  But on the other side of connection, you have the dichotomy of loss and breaking apart. Losing friends is tough, but the tragedy lies in falling apart from the living – from watching the bridges burn and looming in their flames, somberly separating after a difference of opinion, or more tumultuous – of life.

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The Give and Take of Friendship

All relationships are a game of emotional catch; with a natural give and take, a push and pull – a simple supply and demand economics of personal happiness and social responsibility. They’re like a battery, or a gas tank, or a freshly rooted flower – filling, emptying and growing in symbiosis.  But if you drain one too much, or overfill it another day – you’re putting unnecessary strain into the relationship, infusing it with a toxic nature, even if the relationship itself doesn’t seem toxic yet.

In the duality of life, friendships can only thrive when its seed is watered from both ends.  What makes someone your friend? What propels them to flutter inside your heart and fill your mind with wonder and joy? How much endured emotional pain is worth the familial pleasure of friendship? Love of any kind is an investment – familial love, fraternal love, romantic love – every time you interact, you give part of yourself away.  Time is a human construct, but there are still only so many moments in a day – how and with whom do you choose spend them?

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The Benefits of Boundaries

Friendship is malleable and free-form like an emotional rubber-band, full of flexibility and movement; but even the strongest rubber bands snap under extreme pressure. Boundaries are essential to any budding relationship and are key to building the foundation of a successful one. If you fly into a friendship blindly without thought, you could end up like Icarus and burn yourself on the sun of your relationship. The most important boundaries are the ones are those you build with yourself: what you will and won’t stand for, what personality traits you covet, what you’re willing to let slide and what you abhor. You can only give yourself away so much before there’s none of you left to hold for yourself, none of you left to care for you – and let’s be honest, if you can’t find time or energy to care for yourself, it’s a bit paradoxical to be giving it away. Conversely, when it comes to the people in your social circle – it seems anachronistic that enforcing boundaries would build a stronger bond, but by not having any boundaries you’re saying you’ll fall for everything; intelligently implementing them not only builds trust, but creates a solid foundation for your friendship to stand on.

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Know When To Let Go

Rarely does a relationship ever stay on the same trajectory it once was – which admittedly is half the fun of mutual growth; but like a mirror, once it’s been broken, it can’t be put back together in the same way. Small scale issues from broken boundaries to unspoken grievances can compound over time, eventually tilting the emotional scale in one lopsided way or the other.

The house that friendship builds is based off of mutual boundaries and a solid foundation; with walls of security and support, and open windows into your heart and soul. If built on honesty, loyalty and sincerity, it an move mountains – but if any of those core tenants are broken, the relationships trajectory is hijacked, and the aftershocks can ripple its tenants to their core. Sometimes, the strongest thing you can do is to let those people go, and let the relationship dissolve into the ephemerality of life – for both of you.


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“Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.”

When I younger, my mom pulled me aside one day and told me: you don’t have to like everyone, and not everyone has to like you. The first time she told me, I was 8; but the second time, I was 24 – and the words had infinitely more weight. Some people are meant to be part of your world, in a mutual exchange of love, empowerment and encouragement while others serve as reminders and stepping stones; they’re the loose change at the bottom of your purse, waiting to be tossed back into the wishing well of life. If you’ve invested properly in yourself, if you are honest with yourself about what you have to offer – you’ll attract that energy back; and if you’re making a worthy investment in yourself by creating boundaries, it shows. At the end of the day, the most important friendship to reconcile is the one with yourself.


How do you choose to strengthen your bonds and create healthy boundaries in your relationships?

Let me know in the comments below!

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[Self Discovery] The Truth About Lying

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Lies.  Big or small, white or monstrous – we’ve all told them, and to believe the contrary would be – you guessed it – a lie. According to a recent study, we lie in 25% of our interactions.  Both in action and as concrete ideas, lies can build an unstable foundation in any relationship, familial, romantic, platonic – and even your relationship with yourself. And these untruths aren’t confined to our external environment, either; for every falsehood we voice out loud, there are a handful of others that we tell to ourselves. Unfortunately, the lies we tell ourselves pave the way for the way we lie to the world.

In contrast to Mark Twain, who saw them as ‘Lies, damn lies and statistics’; I choose to think of them as white lies, grey lies and black lies, all sitting on a sliding scale of deception. Let’s do a thought experiment for a second. Quick as a bunny, what’s the last lie you told?  Did you tell your boss you needed more time on a project, when you’ve actually just been procrastinating?  Did you misrepresent yourself in the way you dress, catering to a specific subset of society? Did you tell your squad that you’d meet them for drinks tonight when all you plan on doing is curling up on the couch? Did you tell an artistic friend that you enjoyed their last piece of work when you were anything but interested? Did you tell yourself you didn’t want seconds when you’re still hungry? From half truths to complete falsehoods, none of them are honest – but, one could argue, they’re socially necessary.

From an early age when we couldn’t yet grasp the veracity of the truth when contrasted with the stark emptiness of a false promise, or erroneous nature of a flat out lie – we babbled, we balked, then we talked and walked.  We expressed ourselves emotionally, in our own truth, while slowly learning the truths around us.  Leaves don’t dance down from trees, they fall with the assistance of gravity; I’d rather believe the former, but the later screams accuracy.  And that’s the thing, lies always start small – innocent, lacking any semblance of personal harm or distrust.

White lies are the lies we use on a daily basis to navigate the world.  Telling the cashier that your day is going well even if it’s anything but, entertaining a lunchtime meeting with your boss when you just wanted to have your head in a book, compromising on restaurant choice because your friend’s appetite is heavily invested and you could give a shit.  Yes, you could be honest in all occasions: My day is actually shit, how long do you have to talk; Sorry, I would rather be alone than talk to you; No, I’m not interesting in eating there.  Yet, you don’t – because it’s simpler, easier, almost more necessary to give in to the dance of life.  However, each of those scenarios becomes exponentially trickier the more you you’ve seen the cashier, the longer you’ve known your boss or just how well you know your friend.

They say that improvisational comedy won’t work if you continually say ‘No’ to scenarios, and life isn’t much different. Though white lies are most certainly lies, how awkward or tense would you have made each of those situations for both parties by delving into the veracity of the situation?  In an economic sense, you understand what you’re giving and you’re complicit in what you’re getting. What transforms the white lies into the grey ones, and the damned black dishonesty, are the people you’re deceiving and the levels of duplicity you’re willing to go through.  The closer you consider the relationship, the more harm dishonesty inflicts. Conversely, the more effort you put into the lie, the more disastrous the backdraft.

Beyond being kinder and flat out honest (things I like), the truth is also easier to remember and never has to be defended – because, simply put, the truth just is. It exists whether or not we want to acknowledge it.  It’s like evolution, climate change and science – it’s there, and life becomes more valuable when you accept the truth and move forward with it in your pocket.

The economy of friendship is built from the supply and demand backbones of truth. Though we would love to believe that we are infallible and incapable of telling lies, the fact of the matter is we all bend fact to make fable from time to time. Which begs the question not of why do others lie, but why do we lie? Comfort, ease, and emotional protection top the list – the comfort, ease and protection of our own ego.

Sometimes, the truth is boring and as orators and storytellers by nature, we yearn for the truth to be more exciting.  But more often than not, the truth is a a difficult pill to swallow – let alone force feed to another soul; it becomes an alarming reason for pause, a conversation starter, relationship ender, or an anxiety induced call to internal calamity. All the while lies, time and time again, are used to smooth over any future scars before the threat of pain is on the horizon.  The problem is this – lies are akin to using a bandaid to stop a gunshot wound; it might cover the wound and provide a momentary solution, but it’s not going to stop the bleeding or the pain.  While, on the other hand, intimate trust is more like a mirror – once it’s broken, it can never be put back together quite the same again; and lies have the innate ability to dismantle relationships altogether.  This brings about a new problem – and I’ll leave it to Nietzsche to summarize: “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that I can never believe you again.

None of us wants to believe the people in their lives to be liars, or dishonest in any way.  Yet knock out one of the mosaics in the stained glass window of your relationship with a lie and you’re bound to shine light on an emotional situation.  Knock too many down, and the vibrant image has been replaced with a new vision of clarity.  How many lies does one need to tell to be removed from our inner circle and emotionally placed outside of the intimate confines of our reality?

How many lies do we need to tell ourselves before we realize that we don’t have to be what the world wants us to be? We can be unapologetically ourselves, with all of our faults and idiosyncrasies, where our true preferences are wrapped up in the fibers of your ego and expunged through every fiber of your being.  Once you’ve lived honestly with yourself, there’s no going back – being honest with the world you cultivate and curate feels like living with love in every step; once attained, it feels like the only way to live.

No matter the circumstances, next time you’re about to fib, falter, misspeak, or flat out lie – wonder what you’re lying to yourself about first, and ask yourself why.

I watched this movie called “Liar Liar” and the message was, *Don’t* lie; and that was a smart movie.

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[Self Discovery] Delight Yourself in Friday’s Once In a Lifetime Solar Hat Trick

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This Friday, the stars are aligning in the most beautiful of ways.  First and foremost, Spring will finally be sprung!  Living in California, we’re a tad spoiled with the weather – but with Spring comes Festival Season, which makes me all sorts of giddy like a kid on their first day of Summer Camp with the best snacks in their lunchbox and a stuntin’ new do. Spring means love blossoms from the heart like flowers from the bud, that the happy humans and beautiful brains of Los Angeles will be out and about, spanning rooftops, lounges and underground affairs while enjoying laughter and a light evening breeze.  The Spring Equinox is more than ushering in the new season with the idea of rebirth, regeneration and growth.  Known as the Vernal Equinox to some, it’s also the time of year when the suns shines directly on the equator of our slightly shifted home planet – giving us hypothetically equal amounts of day and night. Derived from latin roots, equinox translates into ‘Equal Nights’ but that isn’t always so.  As it turns out not only does your attitude depend on your latitude, as Kanye muses, but your equinox does, too.  Depending on where you’re sitting on the Earth’s axis, you’re going to have your equinox at slightly different dates surrounding the equinox.  The closer you are to the poles, the closer you are to celebrating the equinox on the ‘Equinox’ – our actual equinox in Los Angeles was on the 16th; so good news for us, the days are just going to keep getting longer!  But no matter, at 3:45 PM in LA, 22:45 UTC, the First Point of Aries will usher in the Spring Equinox in sweet, serene style.

A point of balance in the world, the Spring Equinox brings with it a beautiful time to lay plans into motion, forge a new friendship or enter into that romantic relationship you’ve been tip-toeing around.  Spring is a time to expound upon chances and effectively be reborn within yourself.  Go start a new project, follow your passion and add a bit of spark to your life and watch your world shine.   This equinox occurs with the moon at one of of it’s closest points to Earth’s atmosphere, making it a ‘Supermoon‘!

Not only does the 20th mark our Spring Equinox, but we’re all about to get an incredibly special treat.  In a monstrous celestial celebration for all of Earth’s creatures (and maybe a few on Venus and Mars as well), on Friday we’ll be treated to a rare bird: the total solar eclipse. In fact, it’s been almost a year and a half since the last total eclipse back in November of 2013.  If you want your brain to explode just slightly, try this on for size: it’s been over 350 years since there was a total eclipse during the spring equinox! The last time these two celestial events coincided was supposedly all the way back in 1662, and it won’t be happening again until 2034!  The next time they appear simultaneously will thankfully be within my lifetime, but noting the odds – that’s a bit of luck as well!

Unfortunately for those of us in the Americas, we’ll have to live vicariously through our brothers down under and the lads across the pond in Europe.  The next time we’ll get our gander at an eclipse of any sort in the US will be August 21, 2017. Mark your cell phone calendars and etch it in your mind, it’ll be a day to remember.

If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where you can see the Solar Eclipse – please, please, please: take precautions with your eyes!  The sun is a powerful ball of energy, bursting with life and just because the moon is passing over it doesn’t mean you should stare into it.  If you want to appreciate the full glory of the eclipse, there are special shades you can buy – and special lenses for your camera if you’re in the mood to get a stellar snapshot.

For more details on Friday’s Eclipse, these two infographics from NASA and Space.com sum it up very nicely:

Credit: NASA

Credit: Space.com

[Self Discovery] What’s Your Lucky Number?

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Numbers entwine into and extrapolate patterns as the building blocks of life; from the formation of universe and spiral galaxy arms of our Milky Way down to the cellular structures of every being inhabiting this beautiful earth is formulaic.  Ever since I was a wee little one, I’ve been a little obsessed with numbers.   Number Theory and Numerology both deal with the relationships of numbers to the cosmos, but in two drastically different ways; the former is a branch of pure mathematics concerned with the correlation of integers, while the later is steeped in mystical tradition.  Either way,considering I see 11:11, 2:22, 4:44 and 3:33 on the clock rather frequently, numbers and their unfolding patterns seem to follow me everywhere – but I don’t mind in the least. In fact I find it comforting that the universe is undulating in harmony and overflowing in frequencies, sonically stringing us into One. Expounded upon by Pythagoras back in 580 B.C., there is inherent mystery and magic to numbers as we know them. If you’re ever in the mood for a great read about numbers, which though it sounds paradoxical is anything but, some of my favorites are:

Anyways, I digress; back to the topic at hand!  Depending on who you’re talking with, a lucky number can be two very different things.  In mathematics, there are Euler’s Lucky Numbers which pertains to prime generating polynomials and Lucky Numbers are a set of natural numbers generated from sieves; but lucky numbers as you and I both know them are vastly different.  From sports jerseys and phone numbers to birth dates and area codes, we all have sorted relationships with numbers – each eliciting an emotional response.  Thanks to Basketball, I have an affinity towards the numbers 23, 55 and 33 (the middle of which was my basketball number for ages growing up)  while life has left me in lust with 13.  Toss in 7 for my Birthday Number and my Age Digit, 5 set as my Life Path and Expression Numbers, 3 as my Heart’s Desire Number and 1 as my Sun Number – and I’m just swimming in odd numbers, repeating numbers and primes.

Speaking of prime numbers, let’s get back to my favorite of all numbers – lucky little 13.  In accordance with all things idiosyncratic, I have an equal affinity towards Friday the 13th as I do towards the number itself.  Last year, there was only one – but now for 2015, we have the maximum possible: 3! And to boot, the February-March Friday the 13th is the only time that you’ll see it on two back to back months. In any given year, there are 13 Full Moons which were ripe with celebration for various occult religions. Unfortunately, modern history hasn’t exactly been kind to 13. Triskaidekaphobia is the irrational fear of the number 13 while paraskevidekatriaphobia is the fear of the day Friday the 13th.  I’m guessing the lot of you don’t have it, primarily based on the fact you’re still reading this post instead of having an anxiety attack. Many modern high rises omit the ’13th’ floor and skip right on from 12th to 14th – but if you’re ever on the 14th floor, you know what’s really going on.

What’s do numbers mean to you?

What are your lucky numbers?

[Self Discovery] Nine Ways to Raise Your Personal Vibration

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Vibrations.  They’re more than the physical projection of minutiae, or the oscillation of air molecules.  For as much as they occur around us, they’re simultaneously emitted from us.  Each and every entity, not just on the face of this Earth, but the universe in it’s entirety is vibrating at a unique frequency. From a cosmic perspective, molecule by molecule we’ve all been vibrating equidistantly away from the heart of the Big Bang.  Could it be that our entire lives, as we ebb and flow through the world we’re most attracted to those molecules that were in fact within the closest proximity to us when the Big Bang happened? And then, take the idea of two tuning forks set to an equal resonant frequency; one static – the other made to vibrate.  If you bring the two tuning forks together, the tuning fork at rest raises to the vibrating frequency of audible fork. In the same way, maybe that’s an underlying science to instant friends – those people who find a strange affinity towards, but can’t place the time or place; soul recognizes soul when they’re vibrating on the same frequency plane.

Vibrations. We all have them, and we’re all tuned into them whether we recognize it or not. It’s the warmth of a hug from a friend and the ice cold, clandestine stare of a stranger, the enticing diatribe from a family member and the off-putting physical stance of a foe.  Whenever we feel, we emit a vibration – and whenever we act or speak, doubly so.  From the first breath, up through this very moment – you’ve been a human battery, charging and recharging on the vibrations raining down from the world; where external chaos breeds mentalMade with Repix (http://repix.it) calamity and physical tranquility evolves from calm surroundings. As we’re propelled into maturity by life experiences compounded by emotional epiphanies, the goals and passions we seek in life changes as do the types of personalities we desire in our lives; along the way, we pick up a few friends here, a few others there….and at other times we undoubtedly, unfortunately, outgrow friendships of our former selves and end up leaving a few wonderful people behind along the way.    That’s not to say their effect hasn’t been left, our shared past is my prologue – my future story wouldn’t be complete without their cameo in an earlier scene.

VibrationsWithin each and every action, interaction – reaction – the vibrations we’ve exchanged have shaped, manifested and evolved into my current world.  So it’s only right that in turn, we acknowledge our own ripple effect on the world. Smiles to frowns, bubbly laughter and emotional explosions, private conversations unintended for public ears, words spoken out of turn or context, unfriendly fire in the form of gossip and flippant phrases better left to your imagination; over the course of a day, a week – a year, how many ripples have you left, intentionally and unintentionally in the lives of others? Do you realize that over the course of your life, they’ve been compounding around you? Innocent conversation converts into malicious musings, and sonic snap judgments are all too easy to make – especially out of context. Quite simply: you effect the universe in more ways than you can ever understand.  Your physical presence can say as much, if not more, than the words coming from your mouth and your intonation and intent play as crucial a role as your elocution.  As an empath, I’m constantly bombarded by the everyday energies of those around me, but that’s not to say those who aren’t are immune – they’re simply not as aware of the effects.

Nostalgia, though a beautiful reminder of the way things were – is also by in large the reason we get nasty expectation hangovers.  The stark irony of being blessed with a beautiful series of friendships over the last year is that it’s caused pause and perusal of the ghosts of friendships past. The toxic friendships that manifested during times of strife and the beautiful friendships borne out of shared genius. I’ve always been incredibly receptive to the forces around me but it’s only been recently that I’ve felt understood their full weight.  The good news, is that what has been seen cannot be unseen – once you acknowledge the gravity of your weight on the world, there’s no going back.  As they say in the Matrix: there’s a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path and the only way I saw that I could be a better version of myself was to elevate my every day life.  Somehow, while in the throttles of passionate, intense and at times subversive life experiences, my soul grew into my twenty nine year old body.  I was vibrating on a higher frequency, attracting other passionate souls who were pushing their own personal boundaries while reveling in the wild ride of life.  So, how exactly does one raise their personal vibration? I have nine ways to do it.

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[Rule #1]  Treat others the way you want to be treated.

It’s the Golden Rule and Newton’s Third Law, not to mention – we’ve been learning it since Grade School, so it should be relatively easy to remember. The universe reacts to the energy you put out and the friends you keep are in effect a direct reflection of who you are at your core.  The second half of the rule, often not mentioned, is never – ever – let someone else’s behavior prevent you from being the person that you are.  The behavior of others is just that – their behavior, and it’s not directed at any one person more than the sun’s ray’s fall on any one part of the world.  Adjust and adapt, and if you’re not keen on a person – just know that there are millions upon millions of people in this world, just waiting to meet someone like you.

[Rule #2] A Friend of a Friend is a Friend of Mine

Though a lot easier said than done, this isn’t actually that hard.  That circle of friends you have, well – let’s just put it this way: you’re not their first friend, right?  They come with chums from Grade School and Band Camp, Summer Camps and Basketball Teams, College Fraternities and Study Abroad Programs; they’re located around the world and chances are, they’re just as wonderful as you.  When the opportunity arises to adopt them into your social circle, think of your mutual friends as your flotations devices; don’t dilly dally in the shallow end – jump on in and swim a little deeper, you might just make a new friend for life.

[Rule #3] Reach Out and Touch (or, just hug; whatever)

It’s 2015 and I’m so sick of meeting people with a handshake. Historically, we shook hands with our right hand – the dominant hand – to signal we weren’t wielding a weapon.  At work or while doing business I’ll let’em slide, but in personal, social situations, I want my soul to touch your soul – but I’ll settle for a hug.  Hugs have a calming nature and a healing effect; long hugs can produce the same bonding hormones as sex and hugs are scientifically proven to have healing powers. Have you hugged a human today?

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[Rule #4] Always true to being you, unless you can be a better version of you – then be that.

You want to know what the best version of you is? It’s youYou are the reason people are attracted to you, and you are beautiful – so never stop being yourself.  It’s easy to become the friend who always says ‘No’ and turns down invitations, and equally easy to become a ‘Yes’ man; instead, throw those words out the window, say what’s actually on your mind and set some boundaries.  And remember, just because you’ve set boundaries doesn’t mean they’re permanent fixtures – that’s the beauty of being you: you adapt, evolve, and become a better version of who you were because of it.

[Rule #5] Respect

Aretha sang it best: R-E-S-P-E-C-T. It starts with you, because to get respect – you need to respect yourself.  Respect your own intelligence, respect your body and the things you both put into it food wise and get out of it physically. Once that falls into place, then there’s respecting the world around you. Respecting the personal space of others, whether that’s physical, mental, emotional or temporal, is the first step to garnering it back towards you.

[Rule #6] Let It Go

As Shakespeare put it: Past is prologue.  The past is a beautiful introduction to your story – it’s a wonderful foundation for your current condition, but it’s not the story.  In much the same mannor, the events and circumstances of your friends lives before you are interesting building blocks in their personal puzzle, but the more you focus on them – the less you’re living in the moment of the friendship.  Don’t dwell on grievances or lavish on the lives and things that could have been, instead celebrate greatness and simply enjoy being

[Rule #7] Meditate On It

This too, shall pass.  It’s an old diatribe but it most definitely holds true, time heals all – but what time actually does is give us the personal separation of space from an event. The more space we have, the less personal it becomes and the more we can think of a macrocosmic answer to a problem we shouldn’t have taken so personally to begin with.  Just remember, the best way to get an answer, is to ask the right question.

[Rule #8] Honor The Capacity for Change

Hi, Pot! I’m Kettle.  We’re black! You aren’t the same person you were last year, and you definitely aren’t the same person you were ten years ago.  You could have some of the same passions and proclivities, but on the overall – experience has a habit of evolving us, with or without our consent.  If we can acknowledge our own maturation, then we surely can’t deny the growth of anyone else.

[Rule #9] Practice Random Acts of Kindness.

Pay it forward.  As a general rule, I only ask people to pay me back if either I know I’ll never see them again or I purposely intend on it.  If you’re my friend, we’ll hang out again.  You can get the next beer, coffee, dinner, ice cream, etc…whatever it is, there’ll be a next time – because I want there to be.


For more on the paintings and artwork used throughout this article, please head to the site of 21st Century visionary Alex Grey.

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[Write On] Misophonia – Noise Can Be a Nightmare

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My entire life I’ve had a sorted relationship with food, meal time and pretty much just eating in general.  But let’s not get things twisted – I love food and adore creative edible creations; I’ll dive head first into Thai Curry, Chicken Tikka Masala, Lamb Burgers, Sushi, Pizza, Pho, Spring Rolls, Sandwiches, Soups and the like.  Novel flavor combinations tickle my stomach and ornately decorated delectables are devoured within seconds (but not before I take a picture of it for memory’s sake, of course).  But beyond my predilection for mealtime perfection, I’ve also acquired a few less than desirable grievances circulating said meals.

Starting from when I was a little girl (probably around 4 or 5), through Middle School and all the way into this very moment – I’ve thought that there was something wrong with me.   From the occasional slurp of the soup (which, I’ve actually learned does help in savoring the flavor and is considered a sign of respect in assorted cultures, from China to Japan) to the sound of popcorn being shoveled down throats in a crowded movie theater, people that chew with their mouth open and – even worse – those who insist on talking with food smaking between their teeth: there’s a nerve that’s struck in my body that can vary from a small, creeping headache at the base of my skull to an overwhelming urge to throw plates and or a temper tantrum. Truth be told, neither of those things have ever happened – but if I had a nickel for every instance I wished or imagined that I caved into my feelings, I’d be wealthy beyond measure and eating off of paper plates by myself for the rest of my life.

When I was in elementary school, my step-mother and father produced a present of sorts – a book on manners ironically titled ‘Don’t Slurp Your Soup.’  What my step-mom had yet to figure out, was that my dad was the worst offender of literally every don’t in the book where as I – I wasn’t really that bad.  But when’s the last time that a 7 year old asking her father to eat quieter ever went well?  For a while, my parents thought it was a personal attack, doubly so when I’d leave in the middle of meals at my mom’s house so her boyfriend could smack his supper away, while I hid out in the bathroom with my hands over my ears.  And so, a tradition started.  But dipping out on meals to go and meditate in a quiet room (as awesome as it is) can’t always be achieved, nor is it polite; and after so many years, and different people – from family, lovers and friends to absolute strangers – ‘offending‘ my senses, I know that it’s me and not them (okay, so it’s kind of them…but it’s still absolutely me). My bottomline: I’m turning 30 in a month, and after all these years time for something – anything – to give.

First things first, I’m not crazy – and I’m not alone, either.  A few clicks on a keyboard and bam:

misophoniaInitially excited then freaked out by my two schools of thought (which were, in their exact order: There’s more of us! followed by I have a neurological disorder?!) I did what any slightly obscure person with too much time on their hands and a good internet connection would do: research.  Typically starting in childhood, Soft Sound Sensitivity Syndrome (4S)  begins with an emotionally significant trigger event and over time becomes part of  a negative feedback cycle.  Usually, the emotional trigger is someone close to the individual on a personal level – which makes Thanksgiving extra fun for us!  Though it’s a neurological disorder, it’s yet to be considered part of the DSM5 criteria. At older onset, Misophonia goes hand in hand with tinnitus and hyperacusis, typically associated with hearing loss or head trauma. On a scale of 0 (no discomfort) to 10 (homicidal) – I rank in at a 6. Okay.

Triggers’come in all shapes and sizes, or should I say – sounds, from verbal to non-verbal – visual and even environmental:

Smacking gum, eating nuts, soup slurping, lip smacking, sucking on lollipops, eating chips, eating ice chips, eating popcorn, snoring, tapping on the keyboard, tapping on the steering wheel, fluorescent lights, honking, yelling, nails on a chalkboard, old clocks ticking, trains, dogs barking, nail biting, muffled talking, whispering, sibilance, etc. Let’s put it this way, if it makes noise – it can be a nightmare. (For the complete list of Misophonia Triggers)

So, what’s a girl to do? I mean, I can’t just avoid eating with people for the rest of my life – right? So, I’ve developed a few tricks that help keep me sane when all I actually want to do is throw a temper tantrum or the occasional plate.

First, try honesty.  Yeah. Honesty. If it’s someone you love – like your parents, siblings, significant other or best friend – and you actually enjoy their company, try seeing if they can tone it down a bit.  Maybe close their mouth while they chew, or not talk with such vigor with a mouth full of food, or not slurp their soup or tap their fingers so menacingly.  But, after mentioning it once…twice…or a few times just for good effect, it’s time to throw up the white flag and accept defeat – and a different course of action.

I discovered that if I mimic the noises, it keeps me from losing my temper while attempting to physically (and passive aggressively) drop the hint that it’s loud and or obnoxious. But moving from the solution side of the equation to the problem side isn’t always the best route.  If things start getting testy, I’ll volunteer to play DJ and inspire some tunage and in extreme times of strife, I leave the room; clear the table, clean a dish, go to the bathroom, read the newspaper in the bathroom – you name it, if you’re a loud eater I’ve probably done all of the above while you were none the wiser, stuffing your face at the table.

Did you just have an Ah-Ha! Moment? How do you cope with unbearable noises?  Let me know in the comments below!

 

[Self Discovery] See The Stars Align, And Know It’s All For you

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I wasn’t raised religious, nor have I ever considered myself the religious type but as far as my families go that’s a relatively recent development.  My mom’s Grandmother was a devout Christian Scientist who didn’t believe in the use of Western Medicine; she was Type II Diabetic and had her legs amputated without any anesthetic.  On my dad’s side, my Jewish Grandmother’s family fled to the United States from Lithuania in fear of religious and socio-political persecution.   My mom was raised Lutheran and my father had the first Bar Mitzvah in Corvallis, Oregon.  But after college, they both shifted to the belief system that they were ‘scientists‘ and that I wasn’t going to be raised in a church, or a temple, until it was my choice.

Growing up, my bedtime stories came from books of African and Native American folk tales; to boot, I was always encouraged to question everything.  The older I got, and more I understood the world – the more I was mesmerized by the magic of the everyday. Between the repeating geometric patterns found deep seeded within Mother Nature – like with crystals, foliage, seeds and animal spots, the use of irrational numbers such as Pi and Phi in everyday life, Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity paired with the plausibility of hidden (‘God’) variables –  it was easy to slip into seduction with spirituality.

In middle school, my first Tarot book and deck was handed down to me. By the end of high school, I’d been given three decks and now am the proud owner of five.  In high school, and thanks to the help of my best friend,  I dabbled in and around Wicca and was champion of my fair share of events that cemented those feelings down to my core.  Through various seances and meditations, I was granted brief yet unprecedented access across and into the next dimension of life and my perception of ‘reality‘ hasn’t been the same since.  Thanks to gifts from friends, some treasure hunting and assorted road trips to Zion – my crystal and gem collection has grown considerably, as well.  And now that I’ve moved in with Danny and our Catripod-mate Gio, we have two of the most beautiful shrines I’ve ever seen in the apartment.  It’s easy to lose myself in each single piece, let alone their big pictures; and every time I do, I walk away feeling so intrinsically blessed for the life I’ve worked for.

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Tonight being a Full Moon, and a Total Lunar Eclipse at it’s a wonderful time to reminisce about the last twenty eight days, and the intentions you set during the new moon; it’s also an excellent night to get out your crystals and let the moonlight wash over them. Starting early this morning at 2:15 AM PST, the eclipse will commence and we’ll be treated to an unprecedented second Blood Moon of the year.  While April’s Blood Moon brought somewhat tumultuous changes into our lives and unruffled truths that we might not have wanted to confront – tonight’s will bring resolution and resolve. And remember, the effects have both been around for several days prior and will linger for a few days after.  Give yourself a few moments of reflection and meditation on who you’ve become over the last six months, and then focus your thoughts on your active evolution towards that goal; it’s a beautiful thing.

As for the light show we’ll be receiving from above – the reason the moon manifests into a reddish hue is due to the Earth’s positioning.  Because the Earth rests precisely between the Sun and Moon, the only light that reaches the Moon has been bent around us by the atmosphere.  By scattering the blue light, the Earth’s atmosphere emits a red hue that causes the moon to appear red.  If you happen to be seated on the opposite side of the planet, don’t fret – there’s a live stream just for you.

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